Sale! Memento Mori is 99 cents.

 

 

April 7 – 14, 2014!

Paranormal Romance

Memento Mori

at the SALE price of 99 cents!

 

MementoMori03 copy

 

This book was originally a short story I wrote in 2003, then was self published as a novella in 2012. A few positive reviews convinced me to expand it to novel length. I was happy to discover that the story and characters had enough depth to grow into a full novel.

Originally inpsired by the Eyam plague in 1666, this tale also owes some of its mystery to Alain Fournier’s The Wanderer, the German silent film Nosferatu, the Pre-Raphaelites, Poe and my studies in Medieval Art.

The protagonist is not some six-pack abbed stud, nor is the ghost a warrior princess. Popular as those kinds of characters are,  I don’t personally believe in people like that. My hero, Simon, is an artist, a quiet, imaginative young man who sees ghosts. My heroine is a ghost who died at age sixteen waiting in a plague-infested village for her true love to arrive. But she isn’t all peaches and cream…

The story may begin a bit slowly for some readers because I wanted Simon to get good and lost in the Pennines and find his way into a kind of Otherworld, far from civilzation. There he meets Lara, a young woman, inspired by the 1960s Alexandrian witch queen, Maxine Sanders, who initiates Simon into the history of the village of Whynnesmere and its primary ghost, Suzanne Montmorency, who seems to devour young men. Simon is haunted before he arrives at Whynnsemere, and is haunted more deeply the instant he steps foot over its boundaries. This haunting infuses him, changes him and stalks him back to London where he hopes to reconcile with his girlfriend, Monica, who dumped him for another man.

As a born and trained clairvoyant, I wanted to write a truly psychic story. The psychic events in this story are authentic. Its effects as hallucinatory as a vivid dream.

If you’re looking for something different, give this one a try. Its the product of many years of research, craft, and love.

Click right here:

Memento Mori: Time Travel, Art, and a Ghostly Lover

 

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Memento Mori and the Black Death

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Medieval Doctors called Beaks survived the Black Death by having antibacterial perfumes in their masks.

Art and the Eyam Plague: 1666

When I was a young student of Art History, I had the most amazing teacher, Ellen Kosmer, who took loved the Middle Ages and cemeteries and cathedrals just like me. She taught a 2 semester course called Death in Art in which we studied the art of the Black Plague. This course was a revelation as we studied not just the evoluving attitudes to death in Europe, seen through the art of the various periods, but also explored the attitudes of Eeastern cultures as well.

I don’t know where Dr. Kosmer found some of her examples of this art—I’m sure she took the photos herself in various museums and gravyards of Europe, but I have not been able to find an example of the Memento Mori she showed to us in her classes. The Memento Mori was a work of art inspired by the experience of the Black Death in the Middle Ages, that shows the fleetingness of life through images of skulls, and portraits of people with skeleton companions, Dances of Death and even rosary beads with Death’s Heads as beads.

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What I can’t find but distinctly remember, were the wedding portraits of the couple faced with their own skeletons that was a tradition in the Flemish countries. This is the art I use as a key to the mystery in Memento Mori.

Recognition of the fleetingness of life was meant to encourage piety, for who knew when Le Morte would strike, and an effort to be kind to one’s fellow humans.

My Time Travel novel, Memento Mori, was inspired by my memories of this art and something I discovered while living in England: the Eyam Plague.

Eyam is a small village in the Peak District that, despite its remote location, fell victim to the London Plague of 1665. Eyam was know for its textiles. Trade with London brought a weaver into town with a dreadful bolt of cloth–infected with bubonic plague!

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Swinging 1960s!

I always love the 1960s having grown up in them. Also the year 1966 is such a perfect mirror for 1666, that I couldn’t help setting the modern story at that time.

Simon is a student at the Royal Academy of Art. He excels, he believes, because his beautiful girlfriend, Monica, models ofor him. When she dumps him for another bloke, Simon’s demons come to the fore. He decides to tempt Fate by wandering in the Pennine Mountains where a gost he has dreamed of all of his life, lures him deeper into the wilderness. He stumbles on a house he’d dreamed of, see the girl he’d always dreamed of, and ends his journey in the haunted village of Whynnesmere, named for the flowers, gorse or whin, that had the most powerful, hypnotic effect on me when I wandered the Bristish Isles in 1997.

It is in Whynnesmere that Simon begins to understand himself and why Monica left him. He also learns the truth behind the haunting of his soul, who he really is, and what the ghost wants from him.

His mentor in Whynnesmere, who owns the cabinet that contains the Memento Mori, is a young woman called Lara. I modeled her on the facsinating 1960s witch, Maxine Samders.

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The threads of a lifetime have been woven together to create Memento Mori, story elements from disparate places in my consciousness fitting together to answer a philisophical riddle. The story took ages to mature—-from short story, to novella to this now, completed, novel legnth book.

My research did not end with these areas. If you want to know how rich this story is, the link to buy is here:

http://amzn.to/1fCJfyW

 

 

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Memento Mori: Haunted by the Black Death

Memento Mori: Haunted by the Black Death

 

In 2004, I was living in London in Highgate. I was working on my second novel, a werewolf story called Rosewolf ( due out this year) and was struggling to master the craft of writing. The first novel about a Changeling called Dark Night, Lily Bright, had been written organically, ie:without and outline,  and gotten way out of hand. At about 200,000 words of convoluted plot, I realized I had a lot to learn.

 

I took a course in how to write YA books. One of he exercises was to go onto Wikipedia and find a subject to inspire a story. The instructor had several and among them was the history of the Eyam Plague. I’d never heard of the Eyam Plague, but ever since I studied the art of the Black Death in a Medieval Art History class in college, I was interested in the powerful expressions that came in its aftermath in Europe. It was in that class that I had learned, so long ago, about the memento mori as form of potraiture, showing the person as they are in life and after death on the same canvas.

 

Put the two together and voi-la! Art History meets Writing prompt, add my love the old English song, The Lyke Wyke Dirge, and this ghost story about the haunted village of Whynnesmere was born. In 2004 it was mere outline. It took these many years, between so many other writing projects, to find its root: not just the possession of an artist by his ghostly muse, but about the very nature of the souls’ longing for God.

 

Eyam Plague Village, Derbyshire

 

Fascinating History

 

Here is the short description of Memento Mori

 

“In 1666, the Black Death swept through a tiny English village and killed all of its inhabitants. In 1966, art student Simon Beaumont,is hiking in the mountains. Lured by a mysterious call, he wanders into the haunted village of Whynnesmere. where the beautiful witch, Lara, takes him into the past to unravel the mystery of a ghostly bride,and her strange wedding gift: the Memento Mori”

 

 

This history also comes into play in the novella as Simon tries to puzzle out the strange experiences he had in Whynnesmere. Imagery of the plague ravaged streets of London, the fire, the Plague doctors or Beaks feature strongly.

History of the London Plague, the Great Fire of 1666, the infection being carried to Eyam in a bolt of cloth, all wrap around the tragedy of a young girl, Suzanne de Montmorency who journeys from France to Whynnesmere to be married and finds herself being blamed for carrying the plague. When all of her relatives flee the village, she stays on to wait for her betrothed. Three-hundred years later, her ghost is still waiting…

 

This novella is currently available for all e-readers at no charge  Smashwordshttps: Memento Mori at Smashwords

And, if you want to support me, at Amazon Kindle for $1.99

Kindle: Memento Mori

This story goes very deep and ghostly. I hope you enjoy it and, good or bad, leave a review!

 

 

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